Three years have passed since the Crimean Peninsula’s legitimate return to the Russian Federation.
On March 16, 2014 a referendum was held in Crimea. The vote was on two questions: the accession of Crimea into Russia as a federal subject, or restoring the Constitution of the Republic of Crimea from 1992 when Crimea was still part of Ukraine.
96,77 % of voters supported Crimea’s joining to Russia, and the turnout was 83.1 %.
On March 17, Russia recognized the independence of the Republic of Crimea proclaimed on the basis of the declaration of independence and the results of the referendum, and on March 18 signed the Treaty of Accession of Crimea to Russia with the Crimean authorities.
The coup in Ukraine carried out in February 2014, with the direct intervention of the US and the EU, led to the destabilization of the situation in Ukraine and the conflict in the South-East of the country. Radical nationalists and liberals began to carry out repression and ethnic cleansing using military force against the civilian population. In these circumstances, self-defense forces were created in Crimea who blocked the Ukrainian troops and groups of extremists. The Russian military which was already stationed in Crimea in line with agreements with Ukraine helped to ensure the safety and conduct of the referendum.
As time has shown, Russia’s decisive intervention helped save thousands of citizens’ lives, whereas mass killings and kidnappings began in the South-East of Ukraine from Kharkov to Odessa. In Odessa in May 2014, in one day extremists burned alive over a hundred people while authorities were inactive. In the Lugansk and Donetsk regions, the conflict turned into a civil war that led to the regions’ unilateral declaration of independence from Kiev.
The West, in collusion with the Ukrainian radicals who usurped power, covered up the crimes against the civilian population and tried to blame all the problems on Russia. The West also imposed sanctions against Russia, which are still in effect. Russia, in turn, introduced counter-sanctions which have hurt European producers.
Although the US and some EU countries call on Russia to return Crimea to Ukraine, Moscow claims that this issue is not a topic for negotiations, and Crimea is part of the sovereign territory of Russia.